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BigW last won the day on December 9 2018

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  1. One of the basic rules of photography is to photo down-sun, not into the sun. Once I had that explained to me by people who do it seriously, my pictures became MUCH better. My guess is lens filters can solve some of those issues if you have the know-how and hardware, but you just don't want to do that with sun and the lens, period.
  2. Watching online, maybe. With all the grousing in regards to online streaming of DCA and DCI... who knows.
  3. 100% as we say at work. Talking to family of the Father and Son team yesterday, for instance, they have to have two settings for the Skydome for the roof closed and open because of broadcast interference from the CN tower. Set up for the Olympics was far ahead of it to check everything. Again, Jeff, you pay and pay well for excellence in that field. There are few who do it well. Great job opportunity for those who like travelling.
  4. Hmm... A former student of mine and his Dad as well as an old family friend work in this field. One was with ABC developing a lot of the initial tech-NASCAR in-car cameras, etc. Later on, they started outsourcing to companies like my Father and Son friends work with because frankly, the travel's exciting, and the money was fantastic, but the intense travel can wear you out unless you like it. Not many people can do this stuff at any level, let alone at a professional, competent top end level. They wouldn't have their arrangements with ESPN/ABC, NBC, TV Globo, et al. unless they were really good at it. The outsourcing company they work for covers the various Pro Sports, the Olympics, Cycling events, Helping with the David Letterman/Paul Newman stunt with the balloons, Helping Robert Ballard and David Cameron set up the video when the send stuff down to the Titanic... they're very, very professional. And... they demand and get a ton of money for their services. My friends involved live nicely. The questions I have would be this: I have a sinking feeling Flo is getting people who aren't as top end to do it. To do so would be very expensive. VERY, very expensive. I know for fact Cameron shelled out beaucoup to the gofer in Newfoundland to get stuff for the trip to the Titanic. Most of us would have loved to be paid that money and given a nice rental car to drive to hardware stores and the Wal-Mart for stuff. Also, it sounds to me that they're tossing in these people without any chances to test anything beforehand audiowise. One thing I do know from listening to the guys I know is that stuff needs to be tested when you're into unfamiliar territory. Once they understand what's needed, how it's needed, what kind of equipment is needed, then they can attack the problem professionally and consistently. They solve problems. They're very smart, adaptive, and innovative. Reading between the lines, they've never sat in a venue with a corps for any significant time to test everything out, have they? Testing to find issues, try and corroborate to solve the issues...but that time takes real money. Serious money It would arguably take rehearsal time away, but if it's audio, the Guard could get things done while the rest of the ensemble plays. If it's the front ensemble, just test that. Just my mulling on the matter. Until they can sit down and hammer out solutions regarding hardware and software directly testing, this will continue to be painful.
  5. Looking at some very deep thoughts here, a lot of this has to do with how an organization puts certain things in perspective. Good example: My Brass technician told me he's got a friend who marched snare in a couple of top end DCI corps. They lost a contest. People in the guard were crying. This cat shook his head and said, "Why are you all crying? It's taco night!" If it's all about numbers/placement... things usually head to a bad place in so many ways. Things need to be in perspective. If a team ends up consumed... it rarely ends well. I'd like to meet this guy and ask him how good were those tacos, because I'll definitely have some.
  6. This brings to mind a mid '90's show coordinator not in DCI telling me that he made sure the staff was Paid. That experience really had him pretty messed up at one point. I don't think I've ever seen this person that upset about anything when he told me this. Eventually, that whole situation did get righted. The organization's kind of swept that part of their timeline down the memory hole. Personally, my thoughts are that you need to remember where you come from, even when it's uncomfortable and it hurts. It keeps one humble and things in perspective.
  7. Lots of things told to me quietly over the years to the effect "X was never paid", "Y never got the money they were promised, only a part of it"...
  8. There's a lot of cool stuff out there now from c. 1969 on when things began to become videotaped here and there.. Things from a lot of well respected corps from their time. A Lot of stuff from Quebec corps that were very thoughtful and innovative. The Patro Laval (later L'Clique Alouette) montage videos are simply marvelous. Some things haven't changed since c.1955 if you watch those. Camaraderie, getting unis ready, the town parades... good stuff.
  9. Jeff, you reminded me about the time Rook and I were in his Suckmobile listening to a cassette dub of the Longshoremen's 78RPM recording of their 1946(?) VFW Championship performance. We're listening to "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" and I asked Rook why it was so rhythmically stilted and ironed out. He explained the 1946 VFW regs had a rule where the performance had to fit between x and y beats per minute tempo throughout the show or get a penalty. I think one conclusion reached that it was no wonder Corps eventually broke away from the AL and VFW sanctioning bodies and rules. But hey- they were the best under that set of rules and scoring system. For 1946, Pretty cool! Another thought about rules that you've reminded people for years and individuals seem to forget- Since 1965 for DCA, and since 1972 for DCI, the member corps make the decisions about how they're to be evaluated and scored. Not Judges, not any other interest groups. Haven't heard any rumblings from either circuit to re-work to a tick system ever since they decided to change it.
  10. They were somewhat blocky. Two of these period charts, I've listened to fairly recently. Don't forget the Mahler from the Optimists, which I also listed to. For its day, very innovative and groundbreaking, especially on the visual side... I played a piston-rotor horn for 4 of my six seasons... I know the game in period. I listen to a lot of the period things and realize listening now that they were quite good for the period, but could have been so far more musical but were hedged and constricted because the style demanded cleanliness and clear cleanliness first, musicality second. By 1979, BD, Phantom, others, were trying hard to knock on the door. But they still had certain things held under restraint of the system. As for Channel One... Directly compare 1976 to 1986. One major difference is clear, the far, far better two valve Kings over whatever piston-rotors BD played on then. Then listen to the dynamics, timbre... the stylistic interpretation of the chart. All noticeably better within that 10 year span. Look at the visual package (though I do have some picky things there that because BD could blow white heat, they could get away with), the more musical and less military guard work. It's absolutely no coincidence things got that radically improved in that 10 year span being coincident with the change in how things were judged. It's no knock on the '76 corps. They were clearly what it took to win and be the champions at that time. Ground started to be broken. Things started inching towards a point where ticks weren't as accurate a reflection of the realities and where the arrangers and designers wanted to take things to. Two things allowed George Zingali to turn himself loose. He discussed this at length in a 1984 clinic I was lucky to attend. One: The Cadets gave him total artistic freedom to take things in the direction he wanted. That was not the case previously. If folks want to argue that... That's what I heard, that's what he said. Sorry if that steps on any toes. I'd deliver sworn testimony on it. Two: The changes in evaluation also gave him the opportunity to take things in the direction he really wanted to go. It began to become worth it to take certain risks because they could be recognized and credited. You could afford to be less conservative. I do like corps from all eras. There was a dynamite Baritone solo somewhere of Larry Scott playing the "Student Prince" online in the mid-50's. Considering he had to work around a G/D bugle, wow. Listened to old Rockets, Sun, Cabs stuff from the 60's, I can go on. Early 70's Argonne recently. The thing is, you have to look at it, respect it, and appreciate it for the era it was developed and created. It was that way for various reasons. The bugles weren't great to play on. They didn't have composite materials to construct percussion instruments from. The best were the best given all of those issues and how they dealt with them.
  11. Well, we moved when we were static to the point that one of our visual staff (Who last I knew was judging DCI fairly recently) asked us if we were acting in a Seka film. I think our response was... "YES!". I think he tried very hard not to laugh. Nuff said. 😋 Dunno how much credit to assess in terms of physical challenge. Lots for Effect.
  12. Yeah... the attitude of. "We have our tickets and seats, we can show up at the show a half hour late and won't miss anything. Maybe we watch (Crown/BD Coats) warm up some first." Sad is an understatement of how I feel about that attitude.
  13. Also, when one listens to brass sections from the tick era, I can't help but notice the 'blockiness' of the performance/stilted phrasing/chopped off at the root releases/compromised musicality... why? To avoid ticks. and any questions or doubts about cleanliness. And yeah, I was in DCA when this was how it was done. There are no doubts in my mind shows became a lot more multi-dimensional when the ticks were dropped. I don't think you'd have had the creative explosion and more dynamic shows without that change. Everyone would keep the Concert numbers, reducing risk... Guard work, far more military to keep consistency... Horn books far less adventurous and played less musically to make sure that it's presented as clean.
  14. At West Chester, there were and likely are still a ton of 1-2 credit classes covering all this stuff. And in the case of the Pass/Fail things, GPA didn't matter. You wouldn't get the degree or pass a particular course. The Guitar Pass/Fail was a part of Secondary teaching methods. The Voice and Piano requirement were necessary for the actual degree. I remember running around a lot for lessons and rehearsals. Scheduling wasn't simple. Mike mentioned being a percussion major- In my time at WCU some of our best people were percussionists. Tom Aungst, Scott Litzenberg, Bill Pease, Rich Fitz, some fine, fine folks. Also masterful musicians. Mike's point on HS evaluations having to be more broad-based, you bet! In the early days of the HS Band circuits, there tended to be a brass-centric feel because mainly the judges stemmed from a corps experience. That began to change in the early 80's, BoA (Known as MBA back then) I believe really drove that hard. The Tick hieroglyphics were double complicated because of that. IIRC WW ticks had bars stickling out to the left, brass to the right.. Percussion ticks were... Not sure if those differentiated between snare, Tenors, and Bass and Xylos. By the time you got the correct hieroglyphic stuck down on the right category of the sheet, called it... unless you were FAST and QUICK with the Pen.. how many would one have missed in that time? Food for thought.
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